Part 9: Strategic Directions to Achieve Goal Four

GOAL – An increasing number of Aboriginal learners have the skills and formal education required to more actively participate in the changing labour market.

Retention and Completion Strategy

Provide resources to postsecondary education institutions for the maintenance of physical spaces that reflect Aboriginal needs and identity and for the continued implementation of programming that encourages a broader recognition and inclusion of Aboriginal knowledge, including Aboriginal histories, identities, world views, values, and cultures.

Encourage postsecondary education institutions to offer targeted academic support and counselling, in addition to student supports currently available, to Aboriginal students, including the use of distance education networks and new technologies to reach out to students who are not on campus on a regular basis.

Provide Employment Ontario service providers and delivery agents with the resources and tools they may require to be informed about and responsive to the unique needs and perspectives of Aboriginal clients.

Partner with key apprenticeship organizations and other stakeholders to identify retention strategies for Aboriginal apprentices, as well as the needs of employers and journeypersons, in order to increase the number of Aboriginal apprentices entering trades and pre-apprenticeship programs.

Facilitating Transitions to the Labour Market Strategy

Work with and support postsecondary education institutions and Aboriginal organizations and communities to address Aboriginal learners’ transitions to postsecondary education settings.

Explore opportunities to work with employers, the College of Trades, and the skilled trades sectors to facilitate and increase Aboriginal participation in the skilled trades through innovative partnerships and approaches.

Explore opportunities to support Aboriginal service providers and organizations that seek to establish innovative delivery of on-the-job training that leads to recognized postsecondary education credentials, including trades/skills certification, and ultimately sustainable employment.

Key Performance Measure

A significant increase in Aboriginal learners’ receiving postsecondary education and training credentials

Conclusion

Closing the educational attainment gap has important consequences for Aboriginal learners, their families, and their communities, for higher educational attainment is directly linked to increased socio-economic, physical, mental, and emotional health and the overall wellness of a community. The postsecondary education and training sectors must be prepared to support Aboriginal learners at every stage in postsecondary attainment, with appropriate approaches that are informed by engagement with Aboriginal communities and organizations.  Educators must recognize that varied approaches to Aboriginal postsecondary education are required. Finally, programs and services will be more effective and reflective of the diverse needs of Aboriginal people, if Aboriginal communities are involved with the design, development, delivery, and evaluation of those initiatives.

This is the final series of blogs on the Aboriginal postsecondary framework. Keep checking for more! Have a great summer.

Steve Carleton